Bulgarian Police Hit Pirate Online Book Store

Crime | June 22, 2010, Tuesday // 15:26| Views: | Comments: 8
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Bulgaria: Bulgarian Police Hit Pirate Online Book Store The Bulgarian Unit for Combating Organized Crime has crushed an Internet site for book piracy. Photo by BGNES

The Bulgarian Unit for Combating Organized Crime (GDBOP) has crushed an Internet-based network for illegal sale of books through the Internet site chitanka.info.

The unit has been alarmed for the piracy by the victims, which include the Bulgarian Book Association, the Union of translators in Bulgaria, and a number of publishing houses.

It has been established that the six-person crime group worked from different cities and towns in Bulgaria.

In the loft of a public building in Sofia, GDBOP has discovered the server which has supported the Internet site. The virtual library has been hidden in a room in a printing house.

The site has been updated monthly with around 600 new books, dictionaries and text books from Bulgarian and international authors.

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» To the forumComments (8)
#8
NellieotAmerica - 26 Jun 2010 // 16:55:58

"What happened with "innocent unless proven guilty" ??????????????"

Now you are thinking like an American. There is NO such law in Bulgaria. Everyone is guilty until proven innocent. And the guiltier you are, the less prison time you get to serve. Everything in Bulgaria is back-arse.

#7
Bill - 26 Jun 2010 // 15:59:01

Bul:

Hadn't read the article. Sorry.

#6
BULERICAN - 26 Jun 2010 // 15:46:05

Read the original article Bill.

The Bulgarian Unit for Combating Organized Crime (GDBOP) has crushed an Internet-based network for illegal sale of books through the Internet site chitanka.info.

The first paragraph in particular.

#5
Bill - 26 Jun 2010 // 15:24:46

Bedio:

One of the basic rules of writing is not to use an abbreviation without having first spelled it out, so that the reader knows what you're talking about.

Please define GDBOP.

#4
bedio - 26 Jun 2010 // 15:13:59

Why don't you also mention, that out of 300 countries in the World Publisher Association, Bulgaria is the only one that does NOT pay small tax to the publishers association, from each imported coping machine ??!?!?

Why don't you mention, that the chairman of the Bulgarian Publishers Association, also said that all public libraries are also in violation of the law, by not paying the publishers small percentage from the library taxes, as this is a EU directive. And I do not see GDBOP in front any of the libraries yet. Is that a double standard or what ?

#3
bedio - 26 Jun 2010 // 15:01:03

Yes, DaFaust you are right on all point. However let me remind you that GDBOP organization was violating the law more than protecting it.

You are no rigth of one thing, according Bulgarian law, The AUTHOR is the major right holder, after him are the publishers he has sighed with. According the law, the publisher has no right to object if the writer wants to publish something, somewhere for free.

1. Many authors have sent their materials to the website, agreeing for it to be included in the catalog (as part of the law mentioned above, the publishers may not interfere in that process)

2. There were bunch of other legal websites on that server.

3. The server owner was not informed with letter or anything for the so called "pirate" site hosted on his machine. He was not asked even to put it down, or else the mahine will be confiscated.

4. The machine was confiscated and damaged during this process. The hardware owner has not been charged with anything yet, there is not even a court order.

Having in mind all said:

1. GDBOP violates the legal rights of all authors, who have sent their materials to the website, to decide where and when they can share their materials, a right granted by the law.

2. GDBOP violates the rights of the owner of the server, confiscating his hardware with no warning, or no letter for co-operation. Also they have damaged the hardware.

3. GDBOP violates the rights of all the other web-site owners hosted on that server

4. GDBOP violates the law to follow strict procedures, and confiscates with out even a court to say is there any guilt in the suspects.


What happened with "innocent unless proven guilty" ??????????????

#2
DrFaust - 24 Jun 2010 // 09:57:39

ethernall,

I agree with you that it is a ridiculous overreaction to call this 'organized crime' and act accordingly. Obviously these people have no idea what 'organized crime' means.

On the other hand I have to disagree with you with some of the claims you make:

"1. This was not a pirate online book store. The site was free and non-profit online library where a lot of the content was published by the authors and the translators themselves. By non-profit I mean that the site did not take any money for the content, nor contained any advertising."

Ok, it was maybe non-profit, but only certain public libraries or other institutions are entitled do that. A website is clearly not included in the law.
The law says:

"Without the consent of copyright holder and without payment of remuneration is permitted: reproduction of published works available to the public libraries, school or other educational establishments, museums and archives, for learning purposes or to preserve the work, if not used for commercial purposes"

Copyright holders are usually the publishers, not the authors. Furthermore, as mentioned above, a website is neither a public library, nor a school, nor an educational establishment, nor a museum, nor an archive.

Therefore your following statement is simply not in line with the reality:

"2. Being such the site IS in accordance with the Bulgarian copyright law covering all the prerequisites for a normal library."

It is clearly not in line with the copyright law in Bulgaria.

"3. Many times the people that maintain the site have removed content if the bearer of the copyright has requested that."

So you publish contents without prior consent of the owner? Then why are you surprised when the legal owners of these rights take action against you?

You may be unhappy with the prices for books in Bulgaria (probably grotespuely overestimating the profits from it), but that doesn't entitle you to break the law.

By the way, why should anybody publish a book, when he knows that his rights are violated and his possibilities to get a compensation for his efforts are destroyed by thieves? Because it is theft when you violate intellectual property rights.

It goes without saying that the above mentioned refers only to books that are protected by copyright. Books whose author has died more than 70 years ago are free to be published, and in fact the Gutenberg project publishes almost all classical authors online and for free.

#1
ethernall - 23 Jun 2010 // 13:04:11

Sorry guys but this information is far from the truth. here are the differences:

1. This was not a pirate online book store. The site was free and non-profit online library where a lot of the content was published by the authors and the translators themselves. By non-profit I mean that the site did not take any money for the content, nor contained any advertising.

2. Being such the site IS in accordance with the Bulgarian copyright law covering all the prerequisites for a normal library.

3. Many times the people that maintain the site have removed content if the bearer of the copyright has requested that.

4. What the people from Unit for Combating Organized Crime (what the f*ck they have to do with that?!?) confiscated was the secondary server of the site hosting the forum, the chat and other minor things. The real server went down due to hardware issue and will be up soon (actually couple of mirrors appeared right away).

5. 600 new books each month? Ha-ha-ha, don't make me laugh. First there are not that many books being published. In addition lets make the following calculation - 6 people, 600 books. This means that each guy buys, scans and uploads 100 books a month - this means 3-4 books per day including the weekend! C'mon - this is ridiculous.

6. Very good article by one of the authors that shared his works there can be found here: http://www.gatchev.info/blog/?p=979#comment-312663. And through google translate in English: http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gatchev.info%2Fblog%2F%3Fp%3D979%23comment-312663&sl=bg&tl=en. The calculation above is from there. Another one is about the claimed losses of BG printing industry of millions for last 2 years... If we take 2 millions (smallest for plural), price per book 10-15 leva of which 3-4 leva profit, this makes from 500 000 to 700 000 not sold books last 2 years, which is far more then all sold books... You don't believe that now the sales will go 2-3 times higher, do you.

I am writing this just to make sure people from outside BG understand what is the real situation and hope that you do not delete this comment.

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